{eco beauty} super natural: a green + cruelty-free morning routine

50 natural, vegan + cruelty-free beauty products

one of my fave fashion icons is diane keaton; i love her la-di-da, screwball persona clad in relaxed chinos, patterned neckties + bowler hats {diane later shared in her autobiography that her wardrobe choices were inspired by real life exploits + the street style of new york: she pieced together her off-beat + brilliant boy-meets-girl ensembles herself that were used in movies she starred in}.

diane keaton is my girl crush. probably because she represents the ultimate form of beauty to me: she exudes joy. i believe her most beautiful physical asset is her joyfulness, her positive energy + her smile {and that laugh!}.

and honestly, i love what she has had to say about beauty + acceptance of self over the years: 

diane keaton_.jpg

in a 2014 interview with vogue u/s diane was asked, "do you think there's an age at which you learn to accept the way you look?" her candid response was, "i don't think so. i think the more distracted you are, the better you're off in terms of looking at yourself."

see, self-acceptance, well, there's a secret to it all. and this is what i know about it.

i've been a busy gal for most of my life {with the biggest portion of my life devoted to volunteering + working in the field of education with inner city youth}, and with that, i've often felt that i haven't had time to dwell on any possible physical flaws that might exist. and to be honest, i don't subscribe to the idea of flaws: i believe we're all born innately beautiful, exactly the way we were supposed to come together. because god doesn't make mistakes.

i came to understand long ago that confidence can be equated with beauty. and when we compare ourselves to others, we forget to focus on our own light + innumerable strengths, and all of the beauty we each possess.

in truth, i feel most confident when i'm healthy + happy. and i'm usually feeling most joyous when i'm contributing to the happiness + well-being of those around me. as for my health, this starts from the inside out, and is reflected in my skin. as a plant advocate, i like to eat the plants, and i like to wear the plants.

i love to use products that promote clear + dewy skin. our skin is host to myriad species including bacteria, yeast + fungi. good bacteria informs our skin cells to create our own antibiotics that kill off harmful bacteria, however an imbalance in our skin's microbiome, due to harsh chemicals found in commercial products or an overly sanitized way of life, can disrupt our bodies natural acid mantle + lead to break outs, acne, ecsema or rosacea.

my morning routine consists of the bare minimum: toner {does everyone know about the magic of toners?}, lip balm, plant oils as moisturizers + a little mascara. 

voilà! 

if i'm feeling fancy, i'll put a little bronzer + eyeliner on. for me, confidence comes from feeling good about the way i'm presenting myself to me. i've put together this list of fave products that support your natural beauty + long-term health. i've test driven some great, plant-based brands. each product listed here is made sans fillers, additives, petrochemicals + preservatives, instead each is made with love from active ingredients including fruits, nuts, vegetables, seeds, flowers + berries.

without further ado, these are my top natural beauty brands {50 distinct eco brands in all} + my fave vegan products from each cruelty-free company: 

{soap bars} s/he studio // scratch goods // dr. bronner's // osmia organics

{facial cleansers + exfoliators} root science // precious skin elixirs // shamanuti // aster + bay

{toner} poppy + someday // herbivore botanicals // french girl organics // kani

{facial oils + moisturizers} kahina // pelle beauty // my skin + bones // mun // poetic blend

{mascara} pacifica // w3ll people // lily lolo // jane iredale 

{eyeliner} w3ll people // bwc 

{blush + bronzer} antonym // devita 

{lip gloss} juice beauty // 100% pure // emani

{lip balm} unearth malee // ellovi // hurraw // mi me

{body moisturizers} forager + this list of 4 fab lotions will keep your skin super nourished + moisturized.

{make up brushes} eco tools // alima pure 

{dry shampoo} lulu organics is tops. here's a list of my 4 fave dry shampoos + how to apply so you don't look like someone threw a snowball at your head. i just tried this dry shampoo by mullein + sparrow from trunk collective; it has a dark hue for the brunettes of the world + is chocolate scented for the cocoa lovers of the world {comes in a teeny tiny container for travelers packing light}.

{wet shampoo + bar shampoo} here's a list of 6 amazing eco shampoos to keep your tresses shiny + strong. 

{leave-in conditioner + hair texturizer} yarok // acure // eco sevi // captain blankenship

{don't forget the tip} when it comes to choosing bath + beauty products that are made with pure, safe + organic ingredients, i turn to my favorite experts {these gals will never lead you astray, from lipstick to foundations, they're the real deal}: andrea at organic beauty lover yenny at eco chic beauty trish at ni hao new york

petit vour remains my numero uno for clean + cruelty-free beauty where you can find most of the goods listed here, yes, all in one place. hop to the right side bar here at finny + dill for a list of more eco apothecaries or scroll down if you're on your phone. and don't forget that knowledge is power, so get some of that good info + learn the truth about conventional beauty products by reading no more dirty looks or not just a pretty faceuntil next time, stay green dear hearts!

{header image + artwork by ev // made in the usa zip pouch by talented designer + artist

chotnelle}

{eco beauty} smells like green spirit: 4 natural deodorants

it's been quite the journey from conventional deodorant to natural deodorant. first rule: never try a new deo when you're going to a job interview. no sir, don't do it.

honestly, i was built for the heat. i hardly ever sweat.

but on a hot summer day, years ago, i remember sitting in a brightly lit room, smiling politely as i answered question after question, and thinking: this deodorant is definitely not cooperating.

you see, we've come to expect that this little personal care product will do a big job: it should smell fantastic {i prefer a slightly woodsy scent with light citrus notes} + provide long-lasting protection without plugging sweat ducts {aka we want to smell fresh throughout the day}.

today, there are some sensational small-batch, natural deodorants + creams that neutralize odor swimmingly + absorb wetness without any harsh chemicals like triclosan or pthalates

{potential endocrine disruptors that can negatively impact your body's reproductive + developmental hormones}. and aluminum? this is a metal linked to the interference of oestregen action: why wait for research to tell us definitively that it's linked to breast cancer? let's be proactive about our health.

so here it is, eco friends, my absolute fave vegan + indie deodorants that smell delicious + are safe for your entire family, with ingredients so natural they're good enough to eat:

1// north coast organics: lucky us to have so many organic choices right at our fingertips! north coast have a great travel pack with 8 different scents, so you can try all the light, aromatic options. perfect for fellow wanderlusters. {expect fab customer service from the self-proclaimed "deodorant king of chicago" + his team!}.  made with organic coconut oil, carnauba wax, arrowroot powder + shea butter; with essential oils. handmade in my hometown of chicago

2// schmidt's natural deodorant: i've often thought that it would be wonderful if we could send our empties right back to a company: and now we can! schmidt has a great recycling program: empty 5 jars out, send them back, and receive one deo for free {glass only for now, folks}. made with arrowroot powder, coconut oil, candelilla wax, baking soda + shea butter; with essential oils. **note, schmidt's parent company is now unilever, a company that still tests on animals, so if you're looking for more vegan + cruelty-free options, try my fave natural shop for all things animal friendlysticks + jars available. handmade in portland, oregon

3// primal pit paste: a friend gifted a petite jar of this "pit paste" {aka deo cream} to me over a year ago, and it has made it's way into my regular bath + beauty routine as well into my heart for having a truly remarkable mission of keeping chemicals out + keeping the good, organic stuff in. six-pack sampler available; great for your achy, gypsy heart. made with organic shea butter, arrowroot powder, baking soda, coconut oil; with essential oils. sticks + jars available. handmade in austin, texas.

4// meow meow tweet: meow meow has a cult following, and for good reason. all cute packaging aside, this product works. you will smell fresh + citrusey all the live-long day {or like a field of lavender flowers if you prefer}. mini sizes available, perfect for carry-on bags. meow meow also donates monthly to a number of organizations working to make the world a better place. made with organic arrowroot powder, coconut oil, shea butter, jojoba oil + candelilla wax; with essential oils. sticks + jars available. handmade in the catskill mountains of new york.

{don't forget the tip} a woman is most empowered when she's healthy. not sure where to start? pop on over to petit vour, one of my absolute fave online eco apothecaries for the best natural + cruelty-free products. i'm always surprised when i see commercials for major corporations selling products that tout themselves as effective and empowering for women. when a company chooses to keep toxic chemicals linked to cancer on their ingredient list, well that simply is not the route to empowerment. so to all the small companies making big strides in producing safe + truly healthy options for women + men, i thank you. to learn more about ingredients to avoid in your everyday bath + body products, hop on over here. for all the nontoxic + natural goods in one place, simply scroll down if you're on your phone or hop over to the right side bar if you're on your computer for a list of eco apothecaries.

until next time, stay green dear hearts!

{eco beauty} 4 eco lotions + magic skin potions

when it comes to my beauty + make up routine, my look is decidedly bare. all i ask for is a clear complexion + bright, nourished skin. so my pulse quickens when i hear of new face + body moisturizers made from plant extracts with no artificial ingredients or chemical preservatives. skip down for a quick guide to 4 small wonders, powerful moisturizers for a fresh face + dewy skin {oh, and each + every product comes from an independent + woman-owned enterprise}.

the right moisturizers protect + revitalize skin; they are high in antioxidants + vitamins that help neutralize free radicals + infuse thirsty skin with vital nutrients. they clarify + promote an even skin tone by bringing balance to your skin. i've chosen four remarkable plant-based + cruelty-free beauty brands that do it all:

1// conscious coconut: you've got to love a company with one stellar product that contains just one superb ingredient. this moisturizer is crafted from cold-pressed, USDA organic certified coconuts; it can be used as a daily moisturizer to even skin tone + it smoothe lines like a dream. for every purchase you make, a child is given a meal through a partnership with feeding america food banks. to date, 35,000 children have been fed via donations from purchases of this wonder product. conscious coconut works directly with the growers + farmers to source virgin coconut oil from fair trade farms in both thailand and the philippines. this conscious collaborative helps these farmers build sustainable businesses, which positively influence their communities + ensures that they’re compensated justly. conscious coconut has only one magic ingredient with remarkable antibacterial + anti-fungal properties: the coconut. a woman-owned business led by danielle conte. 

2// tay skincare: this small-batch + artisan-crafted skincare collection has a deliciously warm, floral scent. tay translates the abstract scents of nature into perfect botanical moisturizers that soften + soothe skin. you'll find no parabens, sulfates or petrochemicals in their light, effective lotions; only fair trade + organic ingredients. tay has made it one of their goals to support their sources, as well as the earth's natural resources. in collaboration with the fruit tree planting foundation, tay makes donations to bring fruit + trees back to local + global communities, including public schools, city parks, low-income neighborhoods, international hunger relief sites + animal sanctuaries. planting fruit tree orchards helps combat world hunger + global warming, strengthens communities + improves the surrounding air, soil + water. their magic ingredients include shea butter, mushroom extracts + sea buckthorn. a woman-owned business led by sarah tay. 

3// juice beauty: juice beauty is an organic skincare line that is used by three generations in my family. i love the lightweight texture + subtle fruit notes of these moisturizers, each made of certified organic + antioxidant-rich ingredients. if you're in the u.s.a. you can scoop up a bottle at ulta as well as their online boutique. in my family, the stem cellular neck cream is a fave {we use it everywhere, not just our necks} + the aromatic overnight cream is also a hit {we use it during the daytime too}. their magic ingredients include jojoba, shea butter, a proprietary blend of fruit stems cells + vitamin c, infused with grape formula. a woman-owned business led by karen behnke. 

4// devita natural skincare: i've been using this moisturizer for four years now, and if products could have a personality, i'd say this one is bright, fresh + zesty. just as coffee helps some battle fatigue in the morning, this lotion helps awaken my skin. it absorbs quickly, leaving a non-greasy finish + a beautiful sheen to the skin. devita skin care products are 100 % vegan + paraben free. they never contain GMO's. devita products are never tested on animals {only humans!}. their magic ingredient is organic aloe vera for soft, smooth skin {and it this is a must have if you have sensitive skin}. a woman-owned business led by cherylanne devita {doctor, entrepreneur + ceo/president, this woman does it all, my friends}. 

bonus// athar'a skin essentials: inspired by ancient eastern traditions + ayuverdic knowledge, this organic + vegan cream is made with absolutely no harmful chemicals, fragrances, synthetics or parabens. loaded with antioxidants, protein + vitamin e - this luxurious cream provides intense hydration while reducing wrinkles + dark circles. athar'a helps to provide shelter + food to orphaned children and generously aids in the renewal of our earth's resources by donating a portion of sales to three stellar nonprofits: trees for lifegive light + charity water. their magic ingredient is moroccan argan oil for increased elasticity. a woman-owned business led by sara davoodi. 

for a full body lather// try weleda lotion {at naturalia in france or target in the usa} or andalou organics lotion {at target in the usa or online here}. 

{don't forget the tip} natural products are spectacular multi-taskers; the same oils you use to moisturize your face + body can be used as a face wash, hair conditioner, make-up remover, for treatment of scars + infections, after sun care, itch relief + shaving cream {the perfect product for wanderers + adventurers who like to travel light}. now all you have to do is choose a moisturizer. if you're new to plant oils, find out how i became fast friends with plant-based oils here + learn more about botanical ingredients + their healing properties herethe cosmetic, skincare + haircare industries combined are an $80+ billion per year industry, and have been unregulated for decades. stacy malkan, founder of the campaign for safe cosmetics is a health and environmental activist who has shed light on the issue of toxic ingredients being used to formulate our everyday bath + beauty products by the world’s largest cosmetics companies. she asks the following poignant questions in her book not just a pretty face:

why do companies market themselves as pink ribbon leaders in the fight against breast cancer, yet use hormone-disrupting and carcinogenic chemicals that may contribute to that very disease?

why do products used by men and women of childbearing age contain chemicals linked to birth defects and infertility?

stacy shares the following glad tidings, "while the major multinational companies fight for their right to use hazardous chemicals, entrepreneurs are developing safer non-toxic technologies and building businesses on the values of health, justice and personal empowerment." for some of that healthy glow, click on over to any of the indie brands listed above. 

until next time, stay green dear hearts!

{feature image via conscious coconut}

{eco beauty} bug off: 4 natural insect repellents

while cool weather is settling upon some parts of the world, summer is blooming in other parts like australia + new zealand. i'm devising a way to eventually make my way to all the exotic, warm-weather destinations across the globe, in the meantime, this little nomad is over the moon to be heading to the lush + verdant city of portland, oregon {along the pacific coast of the united states}.

and while paris + chicago are cooling down, my best friend who lives in oregon happily reports that the weather is mild + temperate: perfect hiking + mountain climbing weather. as we hit the trails, nature will offer all the beauty + majesty that i so love, but it will also offer something else: mosquitoes, ticks + other biting insects. so what are we going to do about it? read on insect warriors:

we're going to find a natural solution, of course! there are important reasons to eschew conventional products used to repel insects, specifically chemical ingredients known to be harmful to health including deet. deet is a registered pesticide; it is absorbed through the skin and passes into the blood. research shows deet affects the central nervous system, and when combined with other chemicals, can lead to learning + memory dysfunction.

here are four healthy options for all the hiking, biking, beach-going + nature-loving folks who just want to enjoy the sunshine + the great outdoors sans all those toxic chemicals:

1/ meow meow tweet: made with witch hazel, lavender water, apple cider vinegar + lemongrass essential oil

3/ intelligent nutrients: made with cedarwood bark oil, rosemary leaf oil, peppermint oil + geranium flower oil

4/ naked botanicals: made with witch hazel, lemongrass oil, cedarwood oil, citronella oil + lavender oil

5/ butterbean organics: made with neem oil, citranolla oil, lemongrass oil, cedarwood oil + peppermint oil all-natural, small-batch sprays made with ingredients that will protect you from pesky critters, that's the way to enjoy nature! for full ingredient lists, click on links.

until next time, stay green dear hearts!

{eco beauty} herbivore botanicals: sweet tansy, why so blue?

everybody strives for balance in their lives: drinking plenty of fluids, eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep + making time for friends, family + self {and don't forget to exercise!}. it's a good feeling when you strike that balance between work, social life + self care. finding a brand that is natural + cruelty free, and keeps your skin perfectly balanced feels good too!

i've been using oils to cleanse + moisturize for almost ten years now; i started out with olive oil, and over the years have experimented with argan oil, almond oil, grapeseed oil, hemp oil + jojoba oil, and now i've tried blue tansy oil, a botanical ingredient in a beautiful shade of azure found in herbivore botanicals' lapiz blue facial oil. so what is blue tansy and what are it's magical, healing properties?

tansy is an essential oil derived from a european herb with a brilliant blue color. while tansy is poisonous, when used in small doses it has myriad medicinal + beneficial properties. tansy is anti-bacterial + an anti-inflammatory, helping to hydrate + soothe skin. this reparative oil works as a gentle moisturizer, helping to calm irritated skin + balance sebum levels {which our exocrine glands in the skin secrete to help protect + lubricate our hair + epidermis}.

herbivore botanicals' blue lapiz facial oil contains no animal byproducts or fillers, like water + emulsifying agents which can be found in commercial products, just the good stuff: blue yarrow, german blue chamomile, grapeseed oil, kukui nut oil, jojoba oil, jasmine sambac oil, bulgarian rose absolute, amaranth squalane, vitamin e oil + coconut oil. 

the results? my skin looked great + felt smooth. 

this quickly became one of my fave oils, as it is light + effective. you can purchase the lapiz facial oil roller as a part of their s|s skincare kit: the roller is great for traveling {small + spill proof, pictured above}; or you can purchase the oil in a glass bottle with dropper, separately, in a larger size. trying new plant-based soaps is one of life's simple pleasures for me, and they have a selection of fragrant soaps that come in pretty boxes including pink clay, blue clay + charcoal + bath salts for a little self love. all perfect for sensitive skin.

{don't forget the tip} my advice for anyone trying a new oil is this: always apply to wet or moist skin. post shower or post wash. if you prefer a morning spritzer or facial toner, then by all means go with it. try it on a portion of your skin first, perhaps your inner arm, before applying to your face. and if you decide the viscosity isn't quite right for your visage, then use it as a body oil on your legs + arms or use it as a hair serum to help smooth frizzy hair + add shine to your locks.

until next time, stay green dear hearts!